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Teenagers’ guide to keeping their smartphones safe

By Pallavi Kanungo,

Show your youngster how to detect a malware and then remove it from the phone.

One should never download unreliable apps from unknown sources.

In the tech driven world of today, almost every teenager has access to smartphones. They use these devices not only for their online classes (now that we have entered the age of digital education) but also for extra-curricular activities, entertainment and social networking, so on and so forth. Digital exposure makes them vulnerable to cybercrimes, malwares and online viruses. However, you can keep your youngster safe, digitally, by showing them how to detect a virus or malware and safely remove it from his phone. Here is what you should teach your teenager about keeping their smartphones safe.  

What is malware? 
Malware is a short term for malicious software. It is basically an all-intrusive software specifically made to harm and destroy digital devices like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Some common examples are viruses, spyware, adware, worms and many more. 

How to know whether a phone has virus

  • When a phone is excessively hot even when it hasn’t been used for a while, it may be a hint that someone else has hacked into it and remotely accessed it. 
  • If the phone’s battery runs out quicker than usual, or the mobile data is used up too soon even when it is not being used to its optimum level, or if there’s any sudden change in the billing, chances are the phone has been affected by virus.  
  • If ads pop up too often, are too invasive and show unwanted content, it may be a sign that the phone has hidden adware controlling it.  
  • If a smartphone is attacked by a malware, the contacts start receiving spam messages from the user.   

How to detect and remove malicious apps from phone? 

  • If a user suddenly notices that his phone has app(s) that he hasn’t installed himself, chances are they are probably infected with malicious software. 
  • Make sure that your teenager takes a note of the apps that are consuming unnecessary data. If he doesn’t identify or use them often, simply get rid of them by clicking on “uninstall.” 
  • The apps that have bad reviews on app stores are usually infected with some kind of malware. If there’s any such app on the phone, it’s smarter to simply delete them.  

Keeping viruses at bay 
At times, the users of the smartphones often unknowingly take wrong steps that infect their phones with viruses. Here are the dos and don’ts that your youngster should follow to keep her phone safe: 

  • Downloading unverified apps from a mysterious source is a big no-no. It is often recommended to install apps from official app stores like Google Play store. Also, before downloading an app, it’s best to verify it thoroughly. If there’s any hint of a problem, it’s better to discontinue. 
  • Don’t click on links from unknown senders, be it via SMS or emails. More often than not, they contain harmful malwares.  
  • Whenever an app is installed on a device, it asks for permission about what it can and cannot perform on the phone. The user should be careful while giving such permissions. 
  • If possible, it’s best to have an anti-virus installed on the phone just like the ones used on computers to ensure safer online experiences. However, the anti-virus should be reliable.